Friday, August 21, 2015

10 Things to do Before School Starts

 It's that time of year again, for pencil bouquets, notebooks, and heading back to school. But before the summer sun leaves us, here are ten must-do activities to fit in before the bell rings!

#1 Ride the Waves

The temperatures are on the rise begging you to take a dive into Lake Michigan before it's too late! Rent stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, jet-skis, and boats of all kinds for your water-sport activities. Click HERE for more details.




#2 Enjoy the end of Summer Concerts

Bring your blanket or lawn chair to East Park and enjoy the summer sounds of the musicians lined up through August 27 in the Odmark Pavilion!
City Band Concerts are Tuesdays from 8-9pm
Summer Concert Series is every Thursday from 7-9pm

Click HERE for more details.

Or feel the rhythm of Jazz at the Library, Wednesday nights at 7pm and the Summer Folk Concerts on Monday nights at 6:30pm! Click HERE for more details.

#3 Picnic in East Park

Our East Park, in the heart of downtown Charlevoix, is the perfect place for an afternoon picnic. Take a blanket or sit at a picnic table and pack your cooler or get lunch to go! Sprawl onto the grass and enjoy the spectacular view of beautiful Round Lake harbor and magnificent boats docked at the City Marina.


#4 Take a Hike

Fisherman's Island State Park is a beautiful location for hiking or walking down the shoreline. For specific trails in counties of northern Michigan, click HERE. To find trails in the location of your choice, visit

#5 Appreciate the Preserves

Spend some quality time in the northwoods of northern Michigan enjoying the natural beauty of the Little Traverse Conservancy preserves. Click HERE for maps of the nature preserves in northern Michigan counties, or download the app for your smartphone by searching "LTC Explorer!"

#6 Dine Somewhere New

Tired of frequenting the same restaurant every time you dine out? Check out the newest restaurants to the area and add some spontaneity to your meal times! 

Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company
East Park Tavern
Chee Peng
Roadhouse 757
That French Place
Pizza Girl

For our complete menu guide of restaurants in Charlevoix, click HERE.

#7 Shopping Spree

Before you head back to school, take a day to shop our local retailers for fall threads, accessories, backpacks, school supplies and more!

For the college student, shop downtown for dorm accessories and take a piece of home back with you this semester!

For the list of our local retailers, click HERE.

#8 Take a Cruise

If you haven't taken a ride on the lakes of Charlevoix, you're missing out! Cruise the waters with Keweenaw Excursions and get a history lesson along the way, or take part in sailing a catamaran with the crew at Sunshine Charters!

#9 Stay Fresh at the Farmers Market

The Farmers Market runs Thursdays from 9am-1pm from May until October! If you haven't stopped by the booths in East Park, there is still time to pick up some produce and other goodies while listening to entertainment along the way. Click HERE for more details.



#10 Take a Day Trip to Beaver Island

If you like spending time hiking, or biking in the great outdoors, and would like to tour an island rich in history, Beaver Island is the place to go. Take the 2hr Emerald Isle boat ferry, or fly with Island Airways round trip and spend the day on island time visiting historic points of interest such as the Mormon Print Shop Museum and the Lighthouse. For more information visit the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce website at, or call 231-448-2505.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Charlevoix three-day Tour!

Are you planning a trip to Charlevoix, but aren't sure where to start? Are you a resident looking for ways to entertain your summer company? Your itinerary is laid out for you, with three days worth of activities to occupy your time and get the most out of your stay in Charlevoix!

Day One

*photo by Charlevoix Convention & Visitors Bureau

Day Two

*photo by Mike Murphy

Day Three

*photo by Kyle Cyr

Visit our complete Business Directory and online Visitors Guide for more information on things to do in Charlevoix, or visit our website at!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Four Season Artisans

There's one more month left of summer before the leaves change and the cold rolls in, (insert groans here). Though the Michigan climate may be fickle, the picturesque beauty and charm of Charlevoix can be found nestled in several of our unique art galleries year round.

 No matter what the weather, the treasures you'll find at our galleries will make your day more vibrant and provide something for the art lover in all of us, local and visitor alike!


Aartvark Studio & Gallery 

Interested in having a picture framed or need a photographer to take senior or family pictures? The Aartvark is a photography studio and gallery that offers custom framing, printing & many types of photography/video services: weddings, events, senior portraits, families, architecture, business portraits and more. Stop by and visit the link above for more information!
*photo by Terry Salmonson of Aartvark Studio, image found at above link



Charlevoix Circle of Arts

Come visit the Circle of Arts and walk through unique exhibits year round! The Circle also offers classes in the fine arts: music, dance, theater and more throughout the summer months and into September, as well as lectures and dramatic performances! An Up North State of Mind exhibit is running now through September 20 featuring paintings by local artists! In conjunction with the exhibit will be a plein air paint out and wet paint sale. Stop by and visit the link above for more information!
*image found at Charlevoix Circle of Arts Facebook page


Elements Gallery houses unique home and personal accessories handcrafted by over 150 American and Canadian artists! Features an eclectic mix of functional and fine art from local artists and Michigan artists as well. Stop by and visit the link above for more information!
*image found at above link

Lit Fish Fine Art

Lit Fish is the summer art studio for John G. Posa. It features prints, paintings, and other mixed media pieces by Posa as well as other artists! Stop by and visit the link above for more information!

*A Pile of Beach Glass acrylic on linen, image found at above link




North Seas Gallery

 Looking for the perfect painting to hang above your mantle, or an antique cabinet to hold all of your grandmother's china? Stop in North Seas Gallery and browse through their selection of paintings from all over the world, beautifully crafted antique furniture, as well as sculpture, glass and ceramic pieces. Stop by and visit the link above for more information!
*image found at above link

Round Lake Gallery of Art and Design

A colorful and creative location that showcases local Michigan artists as well as artists from around the globe; some as far away as Peru, Guatemala, and South Africa! The unique artwork sold ranges from paintings and furniture to jewelry and accessories, with prices anywhere from $3 to $6,000! Round Lake Gallery is also the start and endpoint for the Earl Young Mushroom Home walking tours, stop in and pick up a brochure! There's something for everyone all year long. Stop by and visit the link above for more information!
*image found at above link

South of Town

Bier Art Gallery & Pottery Studio 

Check out the Bier Gallery inside the iconic red and white schoolhouse! The Bier Gallery is home to over sixty regional and national artist, making the selections diverse and unique. The Bier Gallery features pottery, sculpture, glass and metal works, mixed media/fiber, wood, jewelry, and 2D pieces! Visit the link above for more information! 
 *image found at above link

Cycling Salamander Fine Art Gallery

Explore the Cycling Salamander art gallery and 3 acre sculpture garden! The gallery features the paintings and sculptures of resident artist, Lena Dorey as well as the works of 30 other Michigan artists. Functional pottery, jewelry, etchings, sculpture for the home and garden, and more. Visit the link above for more information!
*painting by Betty Bea Washburn, image found at above link





Otis Pottery

Stop by Otis Pottery where you will find a collection of handmade functional and decorative woodfired, gas fired, and electric fired pottery in all shapes and sizes!
Visit our studio to find the perfect gift or piece for your home! Featuring thrown and handcrafted works fired right on site. Visit the link above for more information!
 *image found on the Otis Pottery Facebook page

Stonehedge Gardens

Take a stroll through the beautiful Stonehedge Gardens and gift shop! Take one of these Michigan made treasures home with you: birdhouses, bird baths, wind chimes, stained glass, purses, soaps, honey, maple syrup and so much more! Visit the link above for more information!
*image found at above link  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top 10 Things to do with Kids on a Rainy Day


Last week you read about activities for kids to do in the sunshine, but what about the days when it pours down rain? Rather than staying indoors all day, here are ten ways to fight the boredom and the blues if your vacation is a rainy one.

Be sure to check out our website for our full business directory and other activities to do in Charlevoix. For more information click HERE.

1. Visit the Charlevoix Public Library! 

Come hang out at the library and check out some summer reading material in the extensive children and teen/young adult sections! Visit the Charlevoix Public Library calendar of events to check out what's happening for youth.

Click HERE for more information!

2. Catch a movie at Cinema III!

When the weather is wet and cloudy head to our cinema and enjoy a movie with a big bowl of popcorn and fountain beverage, or create your own smoothie! The Minions have hit Charlevoix Cinema this week! Watch your favorite funny yellow characters get themselves in and out of all kinds of trouble with plenty of laughs. Check out their website for the schedule of showtimes. 

3. Get creative at the Circle of the Arts!

The Charlevoix Circle of the Arts is a nonprofit organization promoting the visual and performing arts. They house many fine art exhibits, creative camps, and classes for youth ages 5-18! Whether you're learning a dance or theater techniques, making a sculpture, or baking tasty treats, you are sure to have a wonderful fun-filled time.

Check out their website for the detailed listing of creative camps and classes.

4. Explore the Raven Hill Discovery Center!

Stop by the Raven Hill Discovery Center to participate in hands-on activities that connect science, history, and art! Visit the giant tortoise and slithering snakes, and explore the indoor and outdoor museums and exhibits on the second Saturdays of each month for free!

Click HERE for more information!

5. Visit the Harsha House Museum!

Journey through the perils and periods of Charlevoix's history at the Charlevoix Historical Society's Harsha House Museum! There are many exhibits and artifacts on display such as: Ernest Hemingway’s original marriage license with first wife Hadley Richardson, a 1920s working player piano, panels of mounted historic photographs, an eight-foot tall 200 story Petoskey Stone tower made for the Bicentennial of 1976, and much more!

Click HERE for more information!

6. Drive around the Mushroom Homes!

You may have heard of the infamous Earl Young homes, often called Mushroom Homes. Their unique stonework and curved roofs give each home the appearance of a mushroom or hobbit house! Look closely and you may see Froto inside. Each home is privately owned, but welcomes driving and walking tours through the unique neighborhoods. Perfect for a rainy day drive!

Click HERE for the map!

7.  Visit Rocking Horse Toy Store!

The Rocking Horse Toy Company is located at 220 Bridge Street and is stocked with games, crafts, and fun toys that the whole family will enjoy! While on Bridge Street, you may want to check out several other shops and storefronts if the skies are gloomy.

Click HERE for more information.
For our full business directory, click HERE!

8. Decorate a cupcake at Cre8tive Cupcakes!

Dodge the gloomy weather and head in to the bright and cheery Cre8tive Cupcakes for an extra special sweet treat! Treat your kids and yourself to delectable gourmet cupcakes, cakes, and other baked goods along with specialty coffee! Grandma Pat's Tea Room is equipped to host small parties and events, and check their calendar to find out when the next cupcake decorating day is!

Click HERE for more information.

9. Get your sugar fix at the Taffy Barrel!

The days of penny candy and 23 cent gas prices may not be around anymore, but the look and feel of the general store is still found at the Taffy Barrel candy store! With over 150 barrels of taffy and old fashioned candies, and jelly bean bar, the Taffy Barrel will surely indulge your sweet tooth.

Click HERE for more information.

10. Head to the indoor Charlevoix Community Pool for Open Swim!

Too gloomy for the beach? Head to the Charlevoix Community Pool for open swim! The pool is open on designated days for open swim and dollar night.

Click HERE for more information!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Top 10 Things to do with Kids on a Sunny Day!

Are you visiting Charlevoix with kids in tow, and aren't sure what to do? Maybe you and your kids are local but you don't know what family friendly events are taking place this year. I've come up with a list of 10 kid friendly activities for the whole family to enjoy on a sunny day! Check out next week's blog for the rainy day list of kid friendly activities.

1. Tour Castle Farms!

Tour the extensive grounds of the historic Castle Farms! Kids will love the garden railroad with trains galore to play with and explore. Check out their calendar of events for year-round kid friendly activities such as: Enchanted Story Time, Fairy Garden Make & Take, and Santa's Train Wonderland!

Visit for more information, tour times, and prices!

3. Watch a Movie in the Park!

Throughout the summer moths, on certain Mondays we have movies in the park! Come down to East Park Pavilion with your camp chairs or blankets and watch a free movie. The Monday of July 20, Big Hero 6 will be showing.

Click HERE for the complete schedule of movies in park!

4. Play in the Interactive Water-fountain!

Right in the heart of our downtown East Park is the interactive water-fountain! Take your kids and let them splash around on the fountain pad of 23 programmable water nozzles, heated water, and the signature center nozzle capable of sending a stream of water as high as 30 feet! Open from 10am-9pm on interactive mode and then switches to display mode for a light show from 9:30pm-11pm.

Click HERE for more information!

5. Enjoy the beaches and hunt for Petoskey Stones!

There are five public beaches in Charlevoix each beautiful and fun for the kids to play at: Depot Beach, Ferry Beach, Lake Michigan Beach, Mt. McSauba Beach, and Fisherman's Island State Park! Petoskey Stones can be found at any of these beaches along the shore. They are ancient fossils unique to the northern Michigan area with a fascinating history! Check out last week's blog post Petoskey Stone Lore for more information on our iconic state stone.

There are playgrounds and volleyball nets at Depot, Ferry, and Lake Michigan Beach as well as basketball courts at Ferry Beach providing a full days worth of outdoor activity!

6. Rent a boat and go tubing!

If you want to spend a fun-filled day on the water but don't have a boat, no problem! There are several places here in town to rent boats, jet skis, and more! Pontoon boats are a perfect fit for large families to unwind on the lake, drop the anchor and take a swim. Or rent a speed boat with a couple of tubes for the day, and enjoy your water-sports!

Freedom Boat Club
Summertime Rentals, LLC
Swan Valley Marina
Boyne Watersports
Ward Brothers Charter Boats

7. Go biking!

The most popular paved bike path in the area is the Little Traverse Wheelway which connects Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs. The trail begins by the Nazarene Church on Waller Road off of US 31 on the north end of Charlevoix. Check out for more information on trails in the area you select!

8. Grab an ice-cream cone!

On a hot sunny day, stop and take a break at one of the many ice-cream shops in Charlevoix! Indulge your sweet tooth in soft serve cones or avalanches at Dairy Grille, try a tasty hand dipped ice-cream in a waffle cone at Kilwins or Celeste Murdick's Fudge & Candy Kitchen!

9. Play on the playground!

Are the kids getting antsy? Take them to the playground! Let them romp and play at St. Mary's School playground right in town, the playground at the Charlevoix Elementary School, or the playground at the Round Lake Education Center on 108 East Garfield Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720 | (231) 547-3206.

10. Have some Fun at the Farms!

From u-pick fruits, to corn mazes, to petting farms and more, enjoy the fun-filled activities at our area farms and orchards!

Friske Orchards
Royal Farms
Kiteley Farms
Harwood Heritage Gold

Stop by the Farmers Market held every Thursday in East Park from May-October! Check out the Farmers Market Facebook page!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Petoskey Stone Lore

You've heard the stories and tales of these popular stones, or stumbled across one at the beach wondering what type of fossil it is. These stones have had quite a unique history long before the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and their name is tied to Native American legend and folklore. They are no ordinary fossil.

What is a Petoskey Stone?  

A Petoskey Stone is a fossil of colonial coral. These corals lived in warm shallow seas that covered Michigan during Devonian time, some 350 million years ago. Michigan, believe it or not, was located at the equator. The Petoskey Stone, or the hexagonaria percarinata, thrived with the marine life in tropical reefs. Earth's plates moved Michigan up to the 45th parallel, where it is located today, and glacial movement spread the fossils across the northern Lower Peninsula with the most concentration in the Petoskey area. Hexagonaria percarinata consist of many six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the coral polyps. The center of each polyp was the mouth for the tentacles that reached out for food. Its hexagonal shape, thin lines, and the dark "eye" at each center are distinguishing characteristics of Michigan's official state stone.

Hexagonaria percarinata consists of tightly packed, six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the once-living coral polyps. The center of each polyp was the mouth and contained tentacles that reached out for food. The hexagon shape of each cell and thin lines radiating out from the dark “eye” in the center are distinguishing features unique to this fossil. - See more at:
Hexagonaria percarinata consists of tightly packed, six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the once-living coral polyps. The center of each polyp was the mouth and contained tentacles that reached out for food. The hexagon shape of each cell and thin lines radiating out from the dark “eye” in the center are distinguishing features unique to this fossil. - See more at:
Hexagonaria percarinata consists of tightly packed, six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the once-living coral polyps. The center of each polyp was the mouth and contained tentacles that reached out for food. The hexagon shape of each cell and thin lines radiating out from the dark “eye” in the center are distinguishing features unique to this fossil. - See more at:
glacial action scraped the earth and spread the fossils across the northern Lower Peninsula, depositing major concentrations in the Petoskey area. The prehistoric fossil, unique to the Traverse Group rock strata, is called the Petoskey Stone and is Michigan’s official state stone. - See more at:
hexagonaria percarinata

hexagonaria percarinata
hexagonaria percarinata

The Legend of the name Petoskey:

The name Petoskey originated late in the 18th century stemming from an Ottawa Indian legend. According to the legend, a descendant of French nobility named Antoine Carre visited what is now the Petoskey area where he met and married an Ottawa Indian Princess. A son was born to the couple in the spring of 1787 As the sun rose, its rays fell on the face of the new baby. Noting the glorious sunshine on his son's face, the Chief proclaimed, "His name shall be Petosegay (or Bedosegay, there are several versions). He shall become an important person." 

Petosegay did indeed become an important figure in his lifetime acquiring much land and stature. He married an Ottawa Chief's daughter and had two daughters and eight sons and then had a city named after him which we know today as Petoskey (an English adaptation of his name, Petosegay). 

Where to Find Them:

The Petoskey Stone can be found of course on the beaches of Petoskey and polished in gift shops, but Charlevoix's beaches are also home to the ancient treasures as well. Stop by The Treasure Chest gift shop on Park Avenue in Charlevoix to purchase polished stones and check out their new Petoskey Stone room!

For those who look, Petoskey Stones are along the beaches and inland in gravel deposits. Begin your Petoskey Stone hunting at the following beaches in Charlevoix:

Lake Michigan Beach

Ferry Beach

Depot Beach 

McSauba Beach

Information for this blog was found courtesy of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MI DEQ), Geological Survey Division (GSD) and 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 4th Fun

It's that time of year again to fly your flags, don your red white and blue, and spend some quality time with family and friends. Here are a few activities to help plan your independence weekend and still make time for a cookout with the fam.

Be sure to stop in Charlevoix to enjoy the beach and wonderful local restaurants and shops in town! Then head to towns in the area that have several July fourth activities planned for a full weekend of fun!

Boyne City

Start off your weekend right with a bang on July 3rd with events for the whole family to enjoy! From 10am until 9pm the kids can let out some energy on the bouncers and inflatables. Peruse the Waterside Arts and Crafts show from 10am until 5pm, and then Stroll the Streets from 6pm until 9pm, and more!

Step into the fourth with the 7:30am Independence Day 2 mile or 10k run along Lake Charlevoix! Enjoy the Grand Parade at 10am and the firework display over Lake Charlevoix at 10:30pm.

Contact the Boyne Chamber for more info: 231-582-6222

Harbor Springs

Line Main, State, and Bay streets at 1pm for the annual fourth of July Parade! Then stop by Shay Park at 3pm for a wonderful concert by the talented Young Americans. Then enjoy a fabulous fireworks display at 10pm.

Contact the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce for more info: 231-526-7999

Bay Harbor

Would you like to enjoy a concert and a spectacular display of fireworks over the harbor! Then head to Bay Harbor on July 3rd from 8-11pm and groove with the Petoskey Steel Drum Band, and then end the night with a bang!

The Main Street Parade begins at 11am on the fourth!

 Contact for more info: 1-888-229-4272


The Bay View parade begins at 10am, followed by the Main Street parade at 11am! Enjoy the bands and floats to celebrate our independence. Get down to the music and stand in awe for the fireworks from 6-11pm.

Contact the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce for more info: 231-347-4150